Wicked at the Pantages Theater
The Pantages Theater is built in the Art Deco style of the 1930s and from the outside, this adds a genuine feeling of “a night on the town” that Broadway shows have. The outside is not amazing though and in today’s standards seems very dated and not modern at all. Even the vertical Pantages sign, although a landmark seems a little tacky especially across from the newly built mall and Kodak Theater across the street. However, these little things somehow add to the “Old Hollywood” charm. Inside, intricate wood carvings grace the ceiling and frame the stage and there is a lot of color and detail. The style still follows the Art Deco form but is combined with a very majestic and regal feeling so the overall effect is really breath-taking. It is not at all what one would expect judging from the exterior of the building. The lighting used is incandescent, making the theater feel as if it has been lit by candles and with the plush red carpeting and two-level seats, you really feel like you are going to be watching theater the way it was meant to be experienced.
A modern-day theater musical, Wicked is very entertaining and has many good points that make it altogether a good show. The scenic design is one of the best points of the musical and really makes the setting for each scene spectacular. Each background really stands out and brings to life each character. Combined with really good costumes, the visual appeal of the musical is quite amazing. The basic plot of Wicked is the story of Elphaba, the protagonist, and her relationship with Glinda. Both are witches in the Land of Oz but Elphaba becomes the future Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda becomes the Good Witch of the North. During the musical we witness their struggles, opposing personalities, rivalry and eventually Elphaba’s fall from grace.
The acting was very good and since both singing well and acting are necessary for the success of the musical, it is crucial to find the right people to play the roles of Glinda and Elphaba. The dialogue is strong and the lyrics are at times also a part of the dialogue which make the musical very consistent and make the plot easy to follow. Also the articulation of the dialogue during the musical numbers is clear-many times music and song can limit how much the audience can understand but in Wicked everything is understood clearly. Like most musicals the important action takes place center stage as do the musical numbers with the actors and actresses entering from stage left and right, depending on what is good for the plot and directorial style. The body position of the actors and actresses also depended on the directorial style but most of the time they were facing the audience or one another. Wicked was a fantastic musical with professional values and of a very high quality of performance and originality.
I really enjoyed my experience going to see Wicked at the Hollywood Pantages Theater. The theater itself is just really beautiful inside and makes you feel the Hollywood glamour that is a part of the history of Los Angeles and Hollywood. You can see why the theater was home to the Academy Awards and so many Broadway shows and musicals.
The actual musical Wicked is very entertaining and I had a good time seeing it and felt it was worth my time and money. It is very original and I enjoyed that is both old because everyone is familiar with The Wizard of Oz but it is a very modern take on the same story. The music was also very catchy and had a “Broadway musical” feel but also sounded very contemporary and not classical. The casting and acting were very good, the music was excellent and the sets and costumes were really marvelous. It is a musical that is very enjoyable for people who frequently go to theater events and for people who only rarely go for this type of entertainment.